Is never-ending innovation really the key to the ultimate success? Reading marketing and technological innovation literature, it is easy to get the impression that businesses today cannot survive without the continuously innovating processes and technology that new products are based upon. Yet, it seems that truly successful businesses know better. Asked about the rate of innovation and measuring innovation process success, the executive director of development in a successful manufacturing company responded:

Sure, we do set goals, we do measure, and we do assess the rate of innovation. But this is only for incremental innovation, small ideas that improve daily working practices and result in minor product changes. We are situated in a mature industry with narrow profit margins and products with approximately 5 to 7 years of shelf-life. ...So our development goals are not oriented toward rapid renewal of product lines and our activities are not labeled with aching urge to replace existing products. Rather, we are harvesting our crops from well-designed products throughout the life-cycle and definitely don’t cut the mature stage too early as it is the most profitable stage. Also we don’t cut the development cycles as the teething troubles do more harm than good to our image. We are even so working hard on figuring out the future trends and steadily and prudently updating our product portfolio—when the time is right and with the features and products that are aligned with customers ’ needs and which promise the best margins.


Knowledge Management Knowledge Creation Organizational Innovation Harvard Business Review Product Portfolio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Baloh
    • 1
  • Maria E. Burke
    • 2
  1. 1.University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.University of SalfordSalfordUK

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